Pause

What good is love, really, unless it is true?

Actually, love requires trust, and none is more trustworthy than our Creator.

Trust God now to show you trustworthy love, and to grow it more deeply within you.

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Listen

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.

Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.

1 John 4:16b-18

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Think

Think about the rules your parents gave you when you were little. They probably told you things like “stay in the yard” and “don’t hit your sister.” You probably obeyed those rules most of the time. But did you obey them because you really understood that they were for the best, or did you obey because you were afraid of getting in trouble?

The words “perfected,” “perfect,” and “perfection” in today’s scripture passage are all from the same Greek root word and could also be translated “matured,” “mature,” and “maturity.” “Mature” might be easier to understand than “perfect.” Mature people do what is right because it is right, not because they are afraid of getting caught and being punished for doing something wrong.

God’s love matures us. It makes us grow up. When God’s love makes its home in us, we love others because that’s what is best – not because we’re afraid of being punished by God if we don’t love.

Julie Ball

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Pray

Dear God, thank you for your maturing love, which is constantly at work in me. Make me a more loving person each day, and remove any fear that tries to get in the way. Amen.

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Go

Hear the voice of God so tender, gathering us in righteousness.
Giving, as our sure defender,
Steadfast love and faithfulness.

Bless God's holy name together, as the Spirit brings new life.
Giving, as our sure defender,
Steadfast love and faithfulness.

Lavon Bayler

Julie Ball

Julie Ball is a wife and mother in Memphis, Tennessee. In her spare moments, she is pursuing her call to ministry and her love of writing. Julie shares her life and thoughts on her blog, Meeting God in Memphis.

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

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